With 11 months remaining, and over 166K claims submitted, it is no secret that the clock for the Deepwater Horizon Settlement Program is ticking. Patrick Juneau, the Court appointed administrator of the Program, has acknowledged and prepared for a predicted tidal wave of claims and has predicted that the pace is certain to pick up. “It’s happened in every case I’ve been involved in, and there’s no reason to believe it would be otherwise in this case.” Juneau also discusses the increase in submissions in the last three months alone. The dwindling time frame has caused Juneau’s office, currently employing over 1,000, to continue seeking additional help. Aside from the number of claims coming in, select claims are so large they require additional hours of accounting and analysis.
Still circulating the media, BP has called claim values ‘absurd’ and ‘a raid on its coffers,’ as they continue to petition the way in which claims are calculated. In a previous ruling, Federal Judge Barbier has upheld all aspects of the claims process as originally agreed to by all parties. Although admitting that BP’s acceptance of the Program with no financial cap was unusual, Juneau restated the fact that BP originally accepted all terms of the Settlement Program. Judge Barbier has expressed his feelings regarding BP’s objections: “What you’re really trying to do – it’s quite obvious and there’s no subtlety here – is you’re trying to get this issue to the Fifth Circuit,” Barbier said. “If you believe you have a right to appeal, you can take that up with the Circuit and then ask me to stay the order. I don’t know why we’re going through all these machinations.”
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